Inflammation is your body’s response to foreign agents or damage. It signals that your immune system is active and working. So, inflammation can be a good thing, and your focus should be on eliminating the cause of the response.
Still, there are exceptions. Sometimes you get inflammation even when your body’s okay. Medically, this phenomenon is referred to as chronic inflammation. Common chronic inflammatory diseases include rheumatoid arthritis.
Natural Anti-inflammatory Supplements For Chronic Inflammation
Patients usually use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce inflammation. However, natural and synthetic anti-inflammatory supplements can also improve your condition. Plus, these supplements tend to have fewer side effects.
Here are some supplements you can use to fight inflammation:
- Fish Oil
As the name indicates, fish oil is extracted from fish, mainly their tissues. The oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Your body doesn’t make these acids, so you have to rely on the fish in your diet for them.
The main acids are:
- Apha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
These acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can help with chronic inflammation. Fish oil’s effects have been most thoroughly studied in rheumatoid arthritis patients. In these patients, the supplementation has reduced swelling, morning stiffness, arthritis pain, and dependency on NSAIDs.
Moreover, they also helped delay the disease’s onset in animal models. Fish oil is also helpful in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Studies have shown patient improvement after supplementation with omega-3 acids.
A study in 2006 also showed that fish oil might help with non-surgical back and neck pain. The study objective was to see if they could use fish oil supplements to replace NSAID treatment. Out of the 125 subjects, 8% were satisfied with fish oil. They reported an improvement in their pain level reduction.
Fish oil is made from oily fish. These fishes include mackerel, tuna, herring, and anchovies. You can also get omega-3 acids from nuts and plant oil. However, they aren’t as beneficial.
The dosage can vary depending on individuals and conditions. However, the average dose is 1100 mg and 1600 mg daily for men and women, respectively. Consult with your doctor before starting fish oil to get the best dosage. You can also try eating foods with high omega-3 content instead of supplements.
Potential Side Effects
If you take a prescription medication like blood thinners, avoid fish oil, as it can delay clotting. Additionally, it can cause diarrhea, belching, and other gastrointestinal problems. Be careful if you have a seafood allergy.
Turmeric is a common spice in South Asian cuisine. Additionally, it has been used to treat pain and inflammation for years. The method is effective because of the anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin, an active ingredient of turmeric.
In addition to its many other health benefits, it is known for its anti-inflammatory effect, especially for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) has two forms: Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC).
Curcumin works to block pro-inflammatory factors in patients, thereby reducing inflammation. Additionally, it can improve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A 2016 study showed that patients who received curcumin showed significantly reduced abdominal pain and other symptoms.
Curcumin is also effective against arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, gouty arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Both are degenerative diseases that have inflammatory aspects. Since pharmacological treatments are expensive, researchers look for alternatives in natural anti-inflammatory agents.
Curcumin is effective against all forms of arthritis. It also relieves inflammation of the joints. However, there’s no guarantee of joint protection. All these benefits make curcumin a good anti-inflammatory supplement.
Tumeric is the most prominent source of curcumin. However, there are other sources too. You can find curcumin in Mango ginger. Alternatively, you can use curry powder, as it also contains turmeric.
European Safe Food Authority allows a daily intake of up to 3 mg of curcumin per kilogram of your body weight. If you’re using turmeric, the safe dosage is around 500 to 2000 mg daily.
Potential Side Effects
Curcumin does have any serious side effects. However, minor side effects can include nausea, yellow stool, headache, and diarrhea. Please note that researchers only observed these effects at extremely high doses.
- Green Tea Extract
Opt for green tea extract if you don’t want to drink a cup of green tea daily. It is just a capsule with all the active ingredients you’ll find in a full cup of green tea. Green tea has plenty of health benefits, including improving immune function.
Energy drink companies use green tea extract in energy drinks because it has caffeine. This caffeine helps stimulate metabolism and raises energy levels. However, green tea also has epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which helps reduce inflammatory response by eliminating oxidative stress.
Inflammation is one of the hallmarks of cancer, as pro-inflammatory cytokines play a major role during the onset. Green tea has anti-cancer properties, which it exhibits by blocking these pro-inflammatory cytokines. Researchers observed that green tea inhibited melanoma (cancer cell) growth by stopping the inflammatory response.
In rat models for osteoporosis, EGCG stopped inflammation of the joints. Consequently, it stopped disease progression and reduced the associated pain in the joints. It also reduces vascular inflammation.
Mice with liver injury showed a significant decrease in the extent of the injury, inflammation, and oxidative stress.
Furthermore, Green tea is effective against diet-induced or weight-related inflammation. It also decreases insulin insensitivity in obese patients.
Green tea extract is the most concentrated form of green tea there is. If you don’t want to take green tea extract supplements, you can take a cup of green tea daily. They should have similar effects.
You should take 250 to 500 mg of green tea extract daily. You’ll need three to four cups of green tea to get the same benefits. For exact dosage, refer to a doctor.
Potential Side Effects
Green tea extract can be toxic in high dosages. That’s why we advise against exceeding the recommended dose. Green tea extract can cause problems like hepatic injury, irritability, tremors, and irregular heartbeat at high doses.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C, otherwise known as ascorbic acid, is an essential vitamin that acts as a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C reduces oxidative stress in cells which is a trigger for inflammation. Thus, it indirectly reduces inflammation.
In a study published in 2016, researchers observed the effects of vitamin C on inflammation in obese participants suffering from hypertension or diabetes. A total of sixty-four people participated.
Out of sixty-four, thirty-three were sorted into the control group, while the rest were declared the experimental group. The experimental group received vitamin C supplements.
In the end, the participants in the control level showed significantly reduced levels of inflammation. Vitamin C decreases the number of pro-inflammatory factors in their bodies.
Vitamin C is also used in treating chronic gingival (gum) inflammation. Another 2016 study investigated the potential treatment of chronic gingival inflammation in twenty affected participants. Clinical evaluation and histopathological results showed a significant decrease in inflammatory cells in the injected sites.
You can easily find vitamin C supplements in the market. However, getting all the vitamin C you need through your diet is possible. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, leafy greens, and broccoli.
You can use up to 2000 mg of vitamin C supplements daily. However, the recommended daily dosage is 90 and 75 mg for male and female adults. Consult with your doctor before using it as a treatment for cancer or some other disease.
Potential Side Effects
When taken at a normal dosage, Vitamin C is safe. However, it can sometimes cause minor side effects like stomach cramps, headache, heartburn, and nausea. You may get kidney stones and diarrhea if you exceed the 2000 mg limit.
S-adenosylmethionine, commonly known as SAM-e, is a compound that your body naturally produces. You can also take it as a supplement for several conditions like depression and fibromyalgia.
SAM-e also has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it has been prescribed for osteoarthritis since the 1970s. Formally, there’s no relationship between osteoarthritis onset and decreasing SAM-e levels in the tissue. However, that’s what happens.
Osteoarthritis patients produce inflammatory cytokines and other factors that degenerate the cartilage between joints. Studies have shown that SAM-e supplementation reduces joint pain and increases patient mobility.
SAM-e also reduces neuroinflammation in Alzeheimer’s patients by working with Glutathione. Glutathione is an antioxidant that protects neural cells from oxidative stress. Thus, SAM-e also reduces oxidative stress.
Chronic inflammation can lead to severe diseases like cancer. In 2012, researchers studied the effect of SAM-e on inflammation-induced colon cancer in mice. The results showed that the compound inhibited inflammation-induced colon cancer. Additionally, it also stopped the spread of cancer by inhibiting metastatic pathways.
Asthma results in inflamed airways, which makes it hard to breathe. A 2016 study showed SAM-e’s ability to suppress airway inflammation in mice models. It does so by reducing oxidative stress. So, one may say it can help in treating asthma symptoms.
SAM-e is formed naturally within your body. Brands usually have to synthesize it artificially to make supplements.
There’s no fixed dose for SAM-e. You should refer to your supplement for dosage instructions. Better yet, consult with your doctor for the right dosage. Generally, for osteoarthritis patients, 600-1200 mg is recommended daily.
Potential Side Effects
SAM-e doesn’t have as many side effects as NSAIDs. However, they do occasionally show some adverse effects. These include dry mouth, constipation, headache, dizziness, anxiety, diarrhea, and skin rashes. Consult a doctor before taking any supplements if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that’s known for numerous health benefits. It’s the polyphenol that gives red wine its healthy properties. Resveratrol is a popular supplement because it helps with several health conditions and has anti-aging properties.
Resveratrol also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. It inhibits inflammatory responses in the body by restricting the production of inflammatory factors. As such, resveratrol is potentially useful against a myriad of disorders.
Metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes are precursors to inflammatory diseases like hypertension, degenerative disorders, cardiovascular disorders, and more. Resveratrol can decrease inflammation in cardiac tissue. Studies have shown that it can decrease inflammation in cardiac vessels caused by smoking.
Resveratrol can also help reduce inflammation after a heart attack. It also helps with other cardiovascular disorders like atherosclerosis. Resveratrol is also effective against respiratory disorders. These disorders include inflammatory asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Resveratrol also reduces neuroinflammation. That makes it effective against neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and more. As we said before, inflammation is very important for cancer spread. Since resveratrol inhibits inflammation, it also has anti-cancer properties.
Resveratrol is present in exceptionally high quantities in grape skins. Consequently, it’s also present in red wine. Other foods high in resveratrol are peanuts, berries, and cocoa. Remember, most manufacturers don’t use grapes to make resveratrol supplements. Instead, they use the Japanese Knotweed plant.
Supplements contain about 250 to 500 mg of resveratrol. However, you can safely take 5 g of resveratrol daily. Of course, your condition, age, weight, etc., decide the final dosage.
Potential Side Effects
Minor effects of taking resveratrol include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Higher levels can cause serious side effects like liver dysfunction and fatty liver disease. Avoid taking resveratrol with blood thinner, antidepressants, etc.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a powerful inflammatory agent. However, vitamin D deficiency is common. The deficiency can lead to problems like chronic inflammation. If you live in an area where vitamin D is hard to get, ensure that you take vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for atherosclerosis-related cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD progresses via inflammation in the atherosclerotic lesions. Vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Similarly, there’s a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and asthma. During asthma, airway inflammation leads to bronchial dilation and airway obstruction. Folks deficient in vitamin D are at a higher risk for complications due to asthma.
Vitamin D deficiency also increases the risk of getting IBD. Studies have shown that vitamin D supplements can reduce that risk from 29% to 13%. Adequate vitamin D levels also lower the risk of mucosal layer damage.
Vitamin D supplementation can reduce insulin insensitivity in obese individuals. Since insulin insensitivity can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), vitamin D intake reduces that risk too. Plus, NAFLD is characterized by inflammation which vitamin D can reduce.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is another chronic inflammatory disorder. However, this condition affects the central nervous system. Vitamin D replacement isn’t effective against MS. However, increasing vitamin D intake decreases the risk of getting MS.
Your skin makes vitamin D when you go out into the sunlight. Other than that, it’s present in food like fish and eggs. If you can’t get those, opt for fortified milk. If you have a vitamin D deficiency, you should take supplements.
If you’re under 70, take 600 IU of vitamin D daily. For folks over 70, this number goes up to 800 IU. Please don’t exceed the 4000 IU limit.
Potential Side Effects
You’ll experience minor side effects if you exceed the maximum vitamin D limit. These side effects include dry mouth, weakness, nausea, and vomiting. If you continue this over a long period, it can cause hypercalcemia. Hypercalcemia refers to abnormally high calcium levels in the blood.
- Cat’s Claw
Cat’s Claw is a herbal supplement derived from a tropical vine called Uncaria tomentosa. The herb has been used to treat ailments in the south American region for years. It has many benefits like boosting the immune system, relieving pain, and more.
Cat’s Claw has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Most of these can be attributed to suppressing pro-inflammatory genes and cytokines. Since Cat’s Claw is anti-inflammatory, it should be able to relieve symptoms of inflammatory diseases like arthritis.
A 2001 study investigated Cat’s Claw’s effect on knee osteoarthritis. The study featured forty participants: 30 got Cat’s Claw, while the rest (15) got a placebo. They observed a significant decrease in pain just after one week of use.
Researchers believe Cat’s Claw exhibits anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting free radical generation. Another study in 2002 observed Cat’s Claw against rheumatoid arthritis. The study featured forty people and spanned over fifty-two weeks. Patients who received Cat’s Claw reported that they felt less pain in their joints.
Cat’s Claw is a tropical vine native to the Amazonian rainforest. It also grows in central and southern regions of America. You can find the supplements in powder, capsule, and extract forms. If you want, you can even make tea from it.
If you’re taking capsules, ensure they have 300 to 500 mg of Cat’s Claw. Alternatively, the dosage goes from 20 to 350 mg if you’re using an extract.
Potential Side Effects
Cat’s Claw doesn’t show any side effects in low doses. However, if you take it in excess, you’ll feel effects like nausea, vomiting, and an upset stomach. There may be worse symptoms like hypotension, nerve damage, and renal problems on rare occasions.
Conclusion: What Vitamins Get Rid Of Inflammation In The Body?
If you have chronic inflammatory disease, you’re likely using NSAIDs. These medicines are effective. However, they can have some unwanted side effects. That’s why some patients may want to try natural alternatives. We have given you a list of natural anti-inflammatory supplements to choose from.
Of course, these supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA. Thus, you’ll have to buy from a reputable source to avoid adverse reactions. Consult with your doctor before you start taking any supplements.